Co-RIG Blog – Dr. Vania Jimenez

Scaling up the Clinique Mauve — LGBTQ+ Migrant Health Clinic and Outreach Program in Montreal

The COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Impact Grant (Co-RIG) Program — Phase II focuses on innovations and initiatives that prepare family physicians and their interprofessional teams to cope with challenges related to the pandemic and its long-term impacts.

In Canada, people from 2SLGBTQ+ communities are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of social isolation. These individuals are twice as likely to live alone than heterosexual and cisgendered people, placing them at high risk for anxiety, depression, suicidal behaviours, self-harm, and substance abuse.

This week we highlight Co-RIG Phase I recipient, Dr. Vania Jimenez. Dr. Jimenez and her team provided integrated health care services and outreach to migrants from the LGBTQ+ communities in Montréal through Clinique Mauve.

In Phase II, Dr. Jimenez and her team are leveraging additional funding to scale the intersectoral and integrated service delivery model of Clinique Mauve, while further widening their reach by opening a second site, the Actuel Medical Clinic.

The team is also strengthening its psychosocial and mental health services to address the challenges of homelessness, addiction, social isolation, and lack of support for newcomer migrants, including newly arrived sponsored refugees, refugee claimants, and migrants with other types of migrant precarious status.

Dr. Jimenez and her team of family doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, and mental health workers continue to see improvements as approximately 100 migrants in Montréal from the LGBTQ+ communities have been given integrated health services. There are also several patients who have multiple and complex physical and mental health needs as well as those in crisis situations, including being at risk of suicide. For these patients, multiple workers at the Clinique Mauve are working together to provide anti-oppressive, trans-affirmative, harm reduction, and compassionate care, reducing the likelihood and frequency of these individuals ending up in emergency and urgent care.

Despite challenges such as  staff shortages and waitlists, Dr. Jimenez and her team of health care professionals push forward to support the care and well-being of their patients.

“I’m addicted to people’s stories, and since I like stories with happy endings, I know there’s more to do.” – Dr. Vania Jimenez